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Actual Action

Trust your gut, listen to your instincts. The advice predates Facebook by a millennium at least, and even today you can find this sentence posted nearly millions of times.

Very familiar with these sentences, we think we know what they mean. Semantically, we DO know. But these sentences in the form of advice… they are only important if we take them seriously.Perhaps it is less about listening and trusting, and more about respecting. How do you respect your instincts?  Action. The advice could be: Let your instincts truly guide your actual actions. If faith in your instinct guides only your fantasy of action, then it is of no use at all.

How often do we know something is true on a very base/gut level, yet act as if the truth we know is a lie? As if our instinct are lying to us?!  Your gut will never insist that the truth is a lie. You can count on that!  It may turn out to be very unfortunate that we, as human beings, deny the accuracy of our primal instincts with such a zealous frequency.

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Not sure where I am headed….

Oh look what I found….What do we have here?? Is this a seed?? Ah! It IS a seed. And NOT the seed of knowledge either. (Yes, he actually said this! When I tell this story orally, people always ask. Yes.)
I stood, facing the rear of the car, not really knowing how to respond. Shoving the purse unnecessarily across the trunk of the car, he moved toward me, whipping out his handcuffs and turning me around in one motion. Placing the metal cuffs roughly on my wrists, he barked at me “Do you realize the gravity of the situation, now?? Do you??” Now, there was no loss for words, no thought of how to respond; only tears and a head full of mucous, a mouth full of “Yes sir!” that had to be let out!
The female officer arrived to search me.

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Nailgunner Joe

Regular joe, flannel shirt, grey pocket tshirt, shitkickers, jeans, baseball cap. dirty. dirty clothes dirty hands. carries a box of tools, heavy. walks down side street on his way home from work. uneven sidewalk, weeds grow through, uneven sidewalk to the steps that lead three down to his basement apartment. the door is white, windowthrough the molding you see the inside of dirty white curtains.
He enters. It is dank, dark, almost green. IN the room before him there is one bald lightbulb odd 80 watt with strting attached. light is on. to the right against the wall ther is a vanity with mirror, dark wood, slightly ornate. other wise the room is empty and grey.
taking two steps to the left and turning to face toward the street is the second room, just a dark, and green. a small window that is more wall than window resides. otherwise the long flourescent tube lighting is the main feature. It buzzes and flickers. Not continously, just enought to be disconcerting. There is a twin bed on springs.
The man sits on the bed, defeated. As he does both end of the mattress lift as the springs screech in protest. HIs long face contemplates his situation. THe audience can infer whatever they like here. that is the fun part. He picks up nail gun and sits back down, the bed reacts as always, the nail gun in his right hand placed gently on his right knee, his legs relaxed. CU on face. closes eyes…wishes…is denied…this is unseen of course except that his hand, the one holding the nail gun begins to shake. cu hand with nail gun, cu face decision made, cu hand shaking, lifting slowly, cu face, cu hand cu face, cu nail gun to head. pause, sweat, blank open eyes, then…. WHAP!!!! his head holds steady but out of frame goes his nailgun hand. still clutched tightly, cu face barely flinches. Whap! Whap!! this goes on a bit quicker each time as he gains confidence in his abilty to shoot himself in the head with long nails. After (in my mind 9, but that may be a bit much, He stops. his hand with nailgun drops back to knee (cu this). cu face. Blank. He slowly stands and casually drops the nailgun to the bed. walks zombie like to other room to view himself in the vanity mirror. (Camera behind subject to see lightbulb, subject, refelction of both, in darkness, nearly silohette). pan in a bit closer on subjects left side, as he scrutinizes his relection. then cu to face on right as a slow smile of satisfaction creeps onto his mouth and in his eyes. All the pride that he would have needed to stop from killing himself is there in his final smile. Cut to:aerial view of his bald head with the nail rivets. Auditoraly, the audience begins to hear the cracking of the skull, visually we see the nail rivets begin to crack and form a connect the dots puzzle on his head….Cut quickly to Black with dramatic whhomp!!!!

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A Haunting Thought

Yeah,  so I am cursed to write.

If I find myself not writing, I secretly hope my tongue will fall out so I will shut up and be forced to write more, and speak less.

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By Request

Your question got me thinking a lot about past experiences with relationships. Why things didn’t work out? Why I was never satisfied? What was missing?  It all seems so clear now.

1.  You have got to want me enough to take.  Goddamn it, I cannot stand groveling. Or ASKING! Asking!! I mean, really! “Can we have sex?” “Do you wanna do it?” just so. so…blahghghg!!

Immediately, I don’t want to. You’ve ruined the moment! Of course I want to have sex! Do I want to have sex with you now that you asked? No. not really…Christ, I could be wet by now had you just DONE something!

Am I going to stop whatever I am doing or thinking to come to you and ask if you want to have sex…probably not, it can happen, but it’s a rare occasion. I am busy doing whatever the fuck I am doing. I may be thinking about sex, but I will not stop what I am doing of my own accord and ask YOU if you want to have sex, or force you to the strip and get you hard… not likely!.

And if you ask me, while I am in the midst of my business, ASK me if I want to stop what I am doing and fuck…Not saying I have never done this, but if this is the only time you are getting a piece of my action, God help you, you do not understand me at all!

 2.  Please don’t make up for your lack of “you name it”, (we all have deficiencies) by doing something “for me”, that I can, and was, already doing just fine, thank you! It just ain’t where it’s at. If you need to remedy the fact that your vocabulary sucks, pick up a fucking dictionary! Doing my laundry isn’t going to make me think you are king shit!

You must have some talent of your own, that I do not possess, that you can use to do something for me, since that was your intention with the laundry. Or oh, let me guess, either you have nothing to offer, or you just think you can take the easy way out and offer me some token gesture.

I’ll just sum this up by saying: You are not getting attention from me because you can do something I can do for myself! What can you show me that I don’t know, what can you teach me? What do you have that I ain’t got? I’m no whore, so we know I’m not speaking in terms of money. Money comes and goes, experience and knowledge remain. Forever.

Thanks for asking!

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Playing the game – A trip to the children’s psych ward (Part 1)

Before I ever ran away in a sheet my mother had me sent to the children’s mental ward at Mercy Hospital in Johnstown, PA. It was on the thirteenth floor, and overlooked the rusty Susquehanna River.  I was not the recipient of any electro-convulsive therapies, or even any drugs. They simply kept me there for a thirty day evaluation period, at the end of which, it was declared, by some nameless authority that there was nothing wrong with me, and I was sent home, angry at my mother. She should have realized this would happen. Surely she didn’t really believe that there was something mentally wrong with me.

It had begun over a fight over yogurt in the afternoon hours. One of us had eaten the last of it and the other was pissed off. I don’t remember who was on what side, only that we fought like teenage sisters. My mom was in her early 30’s and I was 13. I’m 35 now, and I sure as hell would not want to be dealing with a thirteen year old girl! I’d do the same as my mom and kick her ass.

Later, or maybe a few days later, my mom let me go to the mall with my friends Todd, Jason, and Denise. It was the first time she let me go out with friends who drove. Of course, we did not make it to the mall. We didn’t do anything that much more interesting anyway. Four teenagers on a simple, uneventful joy ride, except of course that we were all experiencing FREEDOM for the first time,  then, back to my place where Todd sat down next to my mom on the couch, and putting his hand on her knee, asked her if she was my sister. My mom laughed. Silly boy! We all had a good laugh.  Since it had gone well, I was allowed to go another time with the same friends on very much the same joyride, and returned home, this time being dropped off in the driveway.

When I entered the living room I greeted my mother. She was lying on the couch watching TV. I’m not sure how it came up, but my mom asked me if I had been drinking. I hadn’t,  and told her so. She asked me again. Here, I had already told her I wasn’t, yet she was asking again. I became defensive. An argument ensued and I, miffed, walked out the door. 

About a half mile walk, and I arrived at the mall, and having nowhere to go, decided to call my grandmother from a payphone to see if she would pick me up. Before I reached the phone, my mother pulled up in her brand new Chevy Cavalier purchased for her by her new boyfriend (who is her husband today, over 20 years later.

“Get in the car!”

“No! I’m calling Grandma and I’m going to stay with her”

My mother threatened with all sorts of punishment. I refused to budge. She screeched out of the parking lot and went home.

Later, at my grandmother’s house, I spoke to my mom on the phone. She told me that she was going to have me sent to the children’s hospital to be evaluated. And so she did.

So, this was 1990 or so and I guess antidepressants and anti-psychotics were not yet prescribed to children with as much ease as they are today, because I never had any of that. I did see some kids get put down with a hypodermic needle to the ass, but that never happened to me.I had spoken to my father, a largely absent alcoholic, once early on in my stay. He told me this: “Kid, play the game. You gotta play the game.” I’m sure he didn’t think I was listening. Even I didn’t think I was listening, but I must have been, because I knew what he meant without completely understanding, as though his words were some sort of code that only my subconscious mind understood.

I met Kevin, who was a teacher volunteering time there at the Children’s Psych ward of Mercy Hospital. I’d always had the worst time understanding algebra!! To the point of philosophical debate with my math teachers.  Suddenly, algebra was easy the way Kevin explained it, and I would ask him to give me more problems to solve to kill the time. I felt good about myself. He also taught me how to draw a bit, and gave me a drawing of a young girl in a field with a unicorn. It was pretty. I wish I still had it today.

Sometimes, in the evenings, we would play Gin Rummy, sans Gin of course, and I noticed that I could see everyone’s hands in the reflection of the plastic light cover on the ceiling, so I learned to cheat at a game that didn’t matter. And play the game that did.

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First Prayer (Part One)

It’s vivid alright. I had recently enrolled in my local community college after spending several months through high school waiting tables and working the counter at Hardee’s. My decision to enroll in the community college was easy. I briefly glanced at one of my coworkers slinging slop in the back and thought to myself “My god, she’s like in her 40’s! I don’t want to be doing this NOW, let alone when I’m old!” That was my thought exactly, I remember it VERY clearly.

In that moment, I literally ran, and when I say that I mean, I simply quit my job and jumped in my 1982 Pontiac T-1000 (a $250 purchase) and…Well, to be more accurate, I didn’t really jump. I shimmied myself into the seat belt that would never unlatch, prayed for the car to start, then headed up to Allegany Community College to see what I had to do to enroll.

At the time I was not privy to the business end of higher education, but they made enrolling very easy, helped me complete the FAFSA, and it was paid for, no problem. If you are wondering why they didn’t require my parents info, I aged out of foster homes after five years in that system, so I was “declared independent” by some authority and also considered poor. I wasn’t worried about that of course, everyone is poor at 18. I just didn’t want to be poor at 40!

In August I began a series of enjoyable classes, just taking the basics, and also found a job at a local convenience store. My day began with my 8am Algebra class, I mention the time of the class because I always had an unexplainable problem with algebra: I like word problems, it’s the equations I had problems with. This was followed by a full day of classes I was good at, and then work at the convenience store from 4pm to midnight. Things were going well until November.

I was renting a small one bedroom apartment on the second floor. Rent was $190 per month which was fitting since my wage was $4.25/hour. A massive snow storm blew in one night in November and piled enough snow on the roof that when I arrived home from work one late night, I found the roof in my bedroom had collapsed and there was snow all over everything, To be more precise, there was snow all over the ONE piece of “furniture” I owned, a futon mattress. At least I didn’t lose much, but it was damn cold. I decided to go to a friend’s house, but unfortunately, I could not get my car out of the parking lot which was packed with icy snow. I chose to view my night in my cold snowy apartment as camping, a reintroduction the survival skills I had learned in the Wild a few years prior. Over the course of the night Bedford, PA received a whopping 4 feet of snow. Sparingly, when morning came, the sun began to shine, and the temperature began to rise, eventually reaching a comfortable 52 degrees and melting all of the accumulated snow so quickly that the entire town flooded. The convenience store where I worked was hit hard and I lost my job.

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